SEPTEMBER 11
BEARING WITNESS TO HISTORY

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Location: World Trade Center
Source: Gift of Hugo Neu Schnitzer East


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World Trade Center aluminum
Description: This crumpled piece of exterior sheathing from the World Trade Center was recovered from the debris pile.

Context: The twin towers of the World Trade Center, a New York City landmark and the tallest buildings in the world when completed in 1973, were noted for their incredible 110-story height and their gleaming exterior. The towers were clad in an aluminum alloy sheathing that gave the buildings a golden sheen at sunrise and sunset. The material covered the closely-spaced exterior steel columns, enhancing their soaring appearance.

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Aluminum cladding
Rough-sorted aluminum cladding from the World Trade Center at the Staten Island recovery site.
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South tower of the World Trade Center
The highly reflective aluminum sheathing of the Twin Towers added to the building’s impact as a memorable landmark.
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"... stripped off and folded up like wrapping paper during the collapse of the buildings."
David Shayt
September 11 Collecting Curator. Museum Specialist, Division of Cultural History

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